Tuesday, June 02, 2015


plantation's secrets -
humid night stops myrtles' clocks
for timeless complaint


slapping th’standup bass –
even th’steamiest monday
‘t th’canal street station

t’most folks, hostile ‘n’ suff’cating,
‘t’s where he wants t’spend th’fourth

room ‘n th’garden district
her thoughts hang ‘n sultry silence
even th’fan slows down


she asks why he’s here –
‘n th’back room, house on josephine
th’fan can’t move in th’heat

on th’road t’amelia
th’bayou law ‘n th’steamy towns, ‘t’s all
‘bout th’private prisons

bourbon’s best buskers –
steamy night, lively zyd’co,
c.d.? they just laugh


sicily island
shells peas ‘n’ snaps beans on th’porch, ‘n’ yells,
‘dust comin’ down th’road!’

shreveport diner grits,
butter and honey, sunrise
to fry an egg with

from th’garden district
window, th’days get more sultry
inside, th’fan slows down

back t’new iberia
barbecue, gumbo, ‘n’ crawfish,
‘n’ th’feuds with th’author’ties

downpour ‘n storyville
can’t believe ‘nother summer
drinking th’hurricanes

tales ‘f old storyville,
august rains, red lights – she pours
‘nother hurricane

th’guy can pay up front,
she says, ‘r in all th’other ways –
wind ‘n’ rain pound canal

soft jazz on th’radio,
out ‘n basin street, th’edge ‘f th’hurr’cane-
she goes back to sleep

grew up ‘n new orleans
drink right through th’rainy season,
‘n’ she’ll feel right at home

dressed up for th’big rains
n’orleans hurricane party,
‘r die ‘n her best undies

family’s portrait,
broken, faded - th’hot sun hits
th’debris ‘f th’old ninth ward

mamou fiddler’s tale –
festival ‘f cajun culture,
gotta taste th’boudin


haunting french lyrics –
th’mamou fiddler’s melodies
stuck with him for weeks

m’tairie lass’ garden –
snapdragons last into th’fall,
makes th’neighbors jealous

marie laval's name -
calls on voodoo, but too late -
betting on the saints

th’name ‘f marie laval –
she hopes it buys th’saints some luck,
at least th’extra point

in th’absence of real food,
th’basin street buskers pass th’port
‘n’ share th’bag ‘f candy corns

ma raised her cath'lic,
he worshipped n'orleans football -
they married saints' day

diesel fumes hang ‘n th’air –
stopped ‘n metairie on souls’ day,
he hears his grandma’s grace

trucker's souls' day prayer
for those who're caught between worlds
rest stop, baton rouge

'laska to florida,
traffic thins, ten near m'tairie -
time f'r thanksgiving nap

not much work ‘n t’llulah
gets by with what th’wife brings home,
spec’ly when it’s cold


docked off ‘f burma road
th’fisherman knows ‘bout ‘fall back,’
wants t’spend th’hour on th’boat

cameron parish
even th’beach seems cold ‘n’ dark,
since he chose t’come out

just off basin street,
busker's night ends - frigid dawn,
old cemetery

stone's throw from n'orleans -
crawdad gumbo, zydeco,
'r own kind of christmas

playing the 'bon temps' -
fiddler gets a little french,
gumbo t'fight the cold

buskers hide bottles,
illicit french quarter port -
champagne soon enough

canal t’esplanade

on this night, wolf moon’s stronger

than all th’clubs combined


super bowl, shreveport
th’party, he figures, ‘s where there
might be something t’eat

in th’back seat, king’s cake
had t’make one for work, she says,
got th’baby in th’last one

purple, yellow, green –
every morn th’bloody mary,
‘n’ king cake by uber

vagrancy's a crime
'f'you'll get on out of n'o'l'ans
save jail cells for gras

vagrancy, says th’clerk –
hanging ‘round b’fore mardi gras
nothin’ better t’do

police ‘t ponchartrain
his real crime, barefoot ‘n winter,
not knowing t’say “sir”

days b’fore carnival,
n’orleans policeman’s feeling
insecure, pow’rful

harsh words f’r th’yankee kid –
n’orleans police are angry
‘bout mardi gras too

on th’bus t’baton rouge
with th’cold rain, ‘n’ people watching,
it’s best just t’leave town


few too many drugs,
some unheard of ‘n bourbon street
now he’ll miss th’big day

bourbon street fiddler's
yankee accent fades away -
parade approaches

crowds ‘long th’parade route –
cold ‘n th’north, but here ‘n th’french quarter,
th’temperature’s rising

curbside, mardi gras
he tells how he’s given up,
plans t’get arrested

tourists in n'orleans
gave mardi gras to the world -
we flee t'lafayette

refuge ‘n lafayette
just feels like ‘t carnival,
gave their city t’ th’world

little rough with th’guy –
police threw’m ‘n th’van, day b'fore gras,
had ‘n open bottle

fierce joy of th’moment –
congo square observer says
it’s all in th’costume


ten up t’maurepas,
march sky ‘n’ th’rising lake – is th’road
built on something real?

morganza spillway:
give the river what it wants -

waiting to give blood,
on a seedy n'orleans stoop -
magnolias blooming

wealth of aromas –
bushes bloom on th’n’orleans streets,
alas, th’blood bank’s closed

magnolias blooming
french quarter law’s pounded th’kid
crime’s th’open bottle

mad ‘bout th’monuments –
magnolias blooming ‘n’ he spits,
n’orleans just ain’t th’same

broke up his dance ‘f joy,
shoved him in th’van – off bourbon,
fragrant spring ev’ning

wild weekend ‘f drinking,
danced ‘n’ sung by th’swollen river
now it’s back t’shreveport

parish bingo hall -
she bristles at the comment:
'skimpy' easter dress

wisteria blooming -
cajun voice reaches quarter's
parisian tourists


th’old kind ‘f french’s haunting –
wisteria ‘n th’streets ‘f gentilly,
‘n’ he asks ‘f she’s still ‘round(11-17)

kudzu envelops
spirit, blocks april sunshine -
far from ponchartrain

cam’ron parish beach –
wide ‘n’ sparkling, but th’joy ‘f spring, gone,
guess she knows too much

ten west t'ward texas -
"wisht i'd traveled when i's young" -
wildflowers beckon


ten west t’ward th’wildflow’rs
th’freedom looks good, say th’two young
gay kids from lake charles


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